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University of Missouri Just Announced Its New President

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It looks like the University of Missouri is taking a step in the right direction with the hiring of Michael Middleton, founder of the Legion of Black Collegians and the school’s first African American law professor, as the interim president of the University. The announcement comes after the resignation of President Timothy Wolfe, who stepped down on Monday amid fierce protests of his handling of serious racism on campus.

In a news conference on Thursday, Middleton said he has already met with members of Concerned Student 1950, an organization devoted to ending racism on campus, about ways to begin addressing problems. He said he is already working on plans to hire more minority faculty and staff to increase their presence on campus. “We are excited for the new leadership under Interim President Middleton!” the group wrote on Twitter.

Middleton received both his bachelor’s and his law degree from the University he now heads, and as a senior helped found the Legion of Black Collegians, one of the groups that, decades later, stood at the forefront of the protests calling for Wolfe’s resignation. As the protests gained nationwide recognition, students of color from universities across the country expressed their support and stood in solidarity with students from Missouri.

“One of the things impeding our ability to get beyond these issues is our inability to talk about it,” Middleton said at the news conference. “We have to understand our ugly history permeates everything we do at this institution and in this country. Once we get this truth on the table, we’re poised to reconcile those differences.”

"Mike Middleton is the best person to lead the system during this critical period of transition, with 30 years of leadership experience on the MU campus and past service as a civil rights attorney," Donald Cupps, chairman of the University of Missouri board of curators, said in a statement, according to ABC News.

The choice of Middleton to lead the University in the direction of change seems to be lauded by officials and students alike. We can only hope that he’ll stay true to his word and follow through on his promises!


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